Sending Chris Young to Oakland on Saturday may have been just the beginning of the Arizona Diamondbacks trading away outfielders this offseason, as the club could part with right fielder Justin Upton next, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
The D-Backs, even after moving Young, can part with Upton and still go with an outfield of Jason Kubel, rookie Adam Eaton and Gerardo Parra next season, with A.J. Pollock in reserve. Or, they could keep Upton and trade Kubel instead.
Upton, 25, seems more likely to go, at least based on finances; he is owed $38.5 million over the next three seasons. Kubel, 30, is signed for $7.5 million next season with a $7.5 million club option for 2014.
Perhaps Upton could bring the D-Backs a starting pitcher. Some in the industry believe the team might even package him with one of its current starters to get a legitimate top-of-the-rotation type.
Upton was rumored to be on the trading block for much of July but remained in Phoenix in the end. The 25-year-old put together a near-MVP season in 2011 but regressed significantly this year, losing almost one hundred points in slugging. Upton still hit .280/.355/.430 on the season, which many if not all teams would love to get from a corner outfielder.
Rosenthal speculates that the D'Backs could deal Upton for another, more high-profile shortstop if the team feels that new acquisition Cliff Pennington will not be enough at the position.